Lunch With Fiona Thornewill MBE

Fiona Thornewill MBE
Fiona Thornewill MBE In Paul Smith Screen 4, Broadway Cinema


Apparently when Winston Churchill entered a room everybody sensed it. Personally I have only met a few people who have had a similar effect on a group of people. Fiona Thornewill MBE is one such person.

Character forged in adversity may be the key to this phenomenon. Certainly, Fiona has overcome the most tremendous challenges in the situations she has found herself in.

Having trekked to both North and South Poles she has encountered everything from polar bears, to whiteouts. Suffering life threatening loss of communication, to navigating alone the nightmare of an unexpected crevasse field.

Fiona had lunch with business leaders in Nottingham. Lunch was partly to facilitate networking, but mostly for leaders to learn from her unique experience.

The Institute of Directors organises such lunches with ‘interesting people’. These are super informative and down right inspiring. This lunch was both inspiring and thought provoking.

I was the event photographer. My role was to document, and celebrate the occasion. Click this link and find out more about event photography.

laura cubley
Laura Cubley, Broadway Cinema Events and Fundraising Coordinator

The Polar Explorer lunch was held at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham. This fantastic venue really added to the uniqueness of the meeting.

Firstly, lunch and networking!

Networking in the Broadway Cinema Mezzanine Bar
fiona thornewill networking
Networking With A Polar Explorer

To top it off, we had a presentation from Fiona in the recently refurbished Screen 4. In addition, Paul Smith‘s magic design wand had been waved over the decor making it even more special.

Slideshow presentation
An inspiring talk from Fiona Thornewill MBE
polar explorer lunch 02
slideshow presentation
Fiona is an engaging and entertaining speaker
polar explorer lunch 02
The audience were spell-bound
South Pole presentation

Inspiring words from public speaker Fiona Thornewill captivated the audience. As a result, the question and answer session was fast and furious.

The Lounge

The Broadway Cinema Lounge is well known as a retro meeting place. Events and Fundraising Coordinator, Laura Cubley, suggested that we had a quick photoshoot in The Lounge.

Fiona Thornewill lounge image
Fiona Thornewill In The Broadway Lounge

Not phased at all, Fiona was a star.

Reflection On My Time With Fiona Thornewill

Since meeting and photographing Fiona I have thought much about her life story. Fiona talked us through the main chapters in her story.

One part really stuck out.

It was not the treks to the North or South Pole. Not the ‘normal’ background she came from. Even overcoming the sad death of her first husband that stood out.

It was when Fiona was a school girl she was told by a teacher that she would make a good receptionist. She thought she could do more.

In short, this has been the continual adversity she has overcome throughout her life.

Final Words

In addition, there was a phrase that Fiona quoted that I keep remembering. In adversity remember:

“Pain is just for a short time. Giving up lasts forever”

If you get the opportunity to hear or meet Fiona, take it.

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